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In order to elucidate the physical connection between the propulsive performance and the unsteadiness of jet flow, the transient development of the impulse and thrust of laminar starting jets with finite fluid discharged is investigated numerically for cases with different velocity programmes and jet stroke ratios. The simulation quantitatively demonstrates that the impulse and thrust generated are highly sensitive to the jet kinematics and its near-wake dynamics. The momentum flux contribution to the jet impulse is found to be significant and is associated closely with the jet kinematics. On the other hand, although the over pressure effect at the jet initiation stage has been identified previously as the main reason for the enhanced propulsive performance of the starting jet, the current results indicate that its contribution is in fact weakened by the negative local pressure, induced by the formation of the leading vortex ring as well as jet development during the deceleration stage. Contrary to the effects of the leading vortex ring, the stopping vortex formed near the nozzle exit plane during the jet deceleration stage is found to contribute positively to the pressure impulse production, albeit it is relatively small. By augmenting the over pressure effect and mitigating the negative-pressure effect, the cases with the fast acceleration and slow deceleration velocity programme is capable of producing the maximum pressure impulse, leading to additional impulse production over what would be expected from the jet momentum flux alone.
We explore R&D subsidies in a hybrid growth model which may exhibit semi-endogenous growth or fully endogenous growth. We consider two types of subsidies on variety-expanding innovation and quality-improving innovation. R&D subsidies on quality-improving innovation only have effects in the fully endogenous-growth regime, in which more subsidies cause an earlier activation of quality-improving innovation and increase the transitional/steady-state growth rate. R&D subsidies on variety-expanding innovation have contrasting effects in the two regimes. In the semi-endogenous-growth regime, more subsidies on variety-expanding innovation increase transitional growth but have no effect on steady-state growth. In the fully endogenous-growth regime, more subsidies on variety-expanding innovation continue to increase short-run growth but delay the activation of quality-improving innovation and reduce long-run growth. Increasing subsidies on variety-expanding (quality-improving) innovation makes the semi-endogenous-growth (fully endogenous-growth) regime more likely to emerge. Finally, we calibrate the model and find that under reasonable parameter values, the fully endogenous-growth regime is more likely to emerge.
To examine participants’ experiences with nutrition education classes that were implemented with and designed to complement a cost-offset community-supported agriculture (CSA) programme.
Qualitative analysis of data from twenty-eight focus groups with ninety-six participants enrolled in Farm Fresh Foods for Healthy Kids (F3HK). Transcribed data were coded and analysed by a priori and emergent themes.
Rural and micropolitan communities in New York, North Carolina, Vermont and Washington (USA).
Ninety-six F3HK participants.
Participants found recipes and class activities helpful and reported improvements in nutrition knowledge, food preservation skills and home cooking behaviours for themselves and their children; they also reported that classes promoted a sense of community. Some educators better incorporated CSA produce into lessons, which participants reported as beneficial. Other obligations and class logistics were barriers to attendance; participants recommended that lessons be offered multiple times weekly at different times of day. Other suggestions included lengthening class duration to encourage social engagement; emphasising recipes to incorporate that week’s CSA produce and pantry staples and offering additional strategies to incorporate children in classes.
Complementing a cost-offset CSA with nutrition education may enhance programme benefits to low-income families by improving nutrition knowledge and cooking behaviours. However, future interventions will benefit from ongoing coordination between educators and local growing trajectories to maximise timely coverage of unfamiliar produce in lessons; synchronous scheduling of CSA pick-up and classes for participant convenience and creative strategies to engage children and/or provide childcare.
Dynamic soaring improves the endurance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by obtaining energy from the horizontal wind shear gradient. The use of dynamic soaring in small solar UAVs can mitigate the trade-off between energy capacity and battery weight to achieve continuous all-day flight. The goal of this study is to determine the optimal energy acquisition methods for small solar UAVs using dynamic soaring and to decrease the battery weight to achieve all-day flight. A dynamic soaring UAV model that considers the influence of the wind shear gradient and a solar power energy model are established. The conditions to obtain a closed-loop energy system during daytime and nighttime flights are discussed, and the minimum mass of the energy system required for these conditions is determined. Simulations of single-cycle circular flights and a 72-h continuous flight of a small solar UAV are performed. The analyses and simulation results show that: (1) the combination of dynamic soaring and solar technology significantly reduces the energy consumption and reduces the required battery weight, (2) the flight speed and flight attitude angles have significant effects on the optimal total energy acquisition and (3) wind fields with a large horizontal gradient and strong solar illumination provide energy and load advantages.
Evidence from animal models demonstrate that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) alters airway structure and function which may affect susceptibility to disease. Airway inflammation and dysregulated epithelial barrier properties are features of asthma which have not been examined in the context of IUGR. This study used a maternal hypoxia-induced IUGR mouse model to assess lung-specific and systemic inflammation and airway epithelial tight junctions (TJs) protein expression. Pregnant BALB/c mice were housed under hypoxic conditions (10.5% O2) from gestational day (GD) 11 to 17.5 (IUGR group; term, GD 21). Following hypoxic exposure, mice were returned to a normoxic environment (21% O2). A Control group was housed under normoxic conditions throughout pregnancy. Offspring weights were recorded at 2 and 8 weeks of age and euthanized for bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and peritoneal cavity fluid collection for inflammatory cells counts. From a separate group of mice, right lungs were collected for Western blotting of TJs proteins. IUGR offspring had greater inflammatory cells in the BAL fluid but not in peritoneal fluid compared with Controls. At 8 weeks of age, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-13, and eotaxin concentrations were higher in male IUGR compared with male Control offspring but not in females. IUGR had no effect on TJs protein expression. Maternal hypoxia-induced IUGR increases inflammatory cells in the BAL fluid of IUGR offspring with no difference in TJs protein expression. Increased cytokine release, specific to the lungs of IUGR male offspring, indicates that both IUGR and sex can influence susceptibility to airway disease.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common pathogen associated with nosocomial infections and is characterised serologically by capsular polysaccharide (K) and lipopolysaccharide O antigens. We surveyed a total of 348 non-duplicate K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over a 1-year period in a tertiary care hospital, and determined their O and K serotypes by sequencing of the wbb Y and wzi gene loci, respectively. Isolates were also screened for antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulent phenotypes; 94 (27.0%) were identified as carbapenem-resistant (CRKP) and 110 (31.6%) as hypervirulent (hvKP). isolates fell into 58 K, and six O types, with 92.0% and 94.2% typeability, respectively. The predominant K types were K14K64 (16.38%), K1 (14.66%), K2 (8.05%) and K57 (5.46%), while O1 (46%), O2a (27.9%) and O3 (11.8%) were the most common. CRKP and hvKP strains had different serotype distributions with O2a:K14K64 (41.0%) being the most frequent among CRKP, and O1:K1 (26.4%) and O1:K2 (17.3%) among hvKP strains. Serotyping by gene sequencing proved to be a useful tool to inform the clinical epidemiology of K. pneumoniae infections and provides valuable data relevant to vaccine design.
Coated copper sulphate (CCS) could be used as a Cu supplement in cows. To investigate the influences of copper sulphate (CS) and CCS on milk performance, nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, fifty Holstein dairy cows were arranged in a randomised block design to five groups: control, CS addition (7·5 mg Cu/kg DM from CS) or CCS addition (5, 7·5 and 10 mg Cu/kg DM from CCS, respectively). When comparing Cu source at equal inclusion rates (7·5 mg/kg DM), cows receiving CCS addition had higher yields of fat-corrected milk, milk fat and protein; digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF); ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration; activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, pectinase and α-amylase; populations of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes; and liver Cu content than cows receiving CS addition. Increasing CCS addition, DM intake was unchanged, yields of milk, milk fat and protein; feed efficiency; digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and acid-detergent fibre; ruminal total VFA concentration; acetate:propionate ratio; activity of cellulolytic enzyme; populations of total bacteria, protozoa and dominant cellulolytic bacteria; and concentrations of Cu in serum and liver increased linearly, but ruminal propionate percentage, ammonia-N concentration, α-amylase activity and populations of Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus decreased linearly. The results indicated that supplement of CS could be substituted with CCS and addition of CCS improved milk performance and nutrient digestion in dairy cows.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
Developing alternatives to antibiotics is an urgent need in livestock production. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as powerful antibiotic substitutes (ASs) because AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and growth-promoting ability. Here, we aimed to comprehensively assess the effects of AMPs on the growth performance, diarrhea rate, intestinal morphology and immunity of healthy or challenged piglets, compared with an antibiotics group or negative control group. We performed a set of meta-analyses of feeding trials from database inception to 27 May 2019. Among the 1379 identified studies, 20 were included in our meta-analyses (56 arms and 4067 piglets). The meta-analyses revealed that (1) compared with the negative control group, AMPs significantly improved the healthy piglets’ average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain : feed ratio (G/F), levels of immune globulin (Ig) IgM and IgG, and intestinal villus height : crypt depth ratio (V/C) (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, AMPs significantly increased the challenged piglets’ ADG, ADFI, G/F and V/C of the jejunum and ileum, and notably deceased the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05); (2) compared with antibiotics group, the effects of AMPs were slightly weaker than those of antibiotics in the healthy piglets, but AMPs have similar effects to those of antibiotics in challenged piglets. In a higher purity, the optimal dose of AMPs may be approximately 0.01%. Our findings indicate that AMPs can improve piglet growth performance, enhance immunity, benefit intestinal morphology and decrease the diarrheal rate. AMPs could be great ASs especially under infection conditions.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed serious challenges. It is vitally important to further clarify the epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak for future study and prevention and control measures. Epidemiological characteristics and spatial−temporal analysis were performed based on COVID-19 cases from 21 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 in Shandong Province, and close contacts were traced to construct transmission chains. A total of 758 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Shandong. The sex ratio was 1.27: 1 (M: F) and the median age was 42 (interquartile range: 32–55). The high-risk clusters were identified in the central, eastern and southern regions of Shandong from 25 January 2020 to 10 February 2020. We rebuilt 54 transmission chains involving 209 cases, of which 52.2% were family clusters, and three widespread infection chains were elaborated, occurring in Jining, Zaozhuang and Liaocheng, respectively. The geographical and temporal disparity may alert public health agencies to implement specific measures in regions with different risk, and should attach importance on how to avoid household and community transmission.
Sustainable and green energy sources are in high demand to meet the current human energy needs and environmental requirements. Hydrogen energy, with the highest energy density and zero carbon emission, is considered a potential solution. Hydrogen is primarily produced by splitting water. Rationally designed electrocatalysts are required to promote the cathodic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Organic polymer matrices provide new opportunities for electrocatalytic water splitting due to their special physical and chemical characteristics and thermal stability. This article explains the role of organic polymers in electrocatalytic water decomposition from three aspects: ion-conductive polymers, conjugated conductive polymers, and carbon materials derived from organic polymers. We hope that this article will provide more rational ideas and promote the design of organic polymers for water-splitting electrocatalysis, and furnish more technical insights for the future of water electrolysis.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
The dendrite morphologies of the cast nickel-based superalloy CMSX-4® (CMSX-4® is registered trademarks of the Cannon-Muskegon Corporation) and the austenitic stainless steel HP microalloy have been obtained via an automated serial-sectioning process which allows three-dimensional (3D) microstructural characterization. The dendrite arm spacing, volume fraction of segregation, and fraction of porosity have been determined. This technique not only increases the depth, scope, and level of detailed microstructural characterization but also delivers microstructural data for modeling and simulation.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Ovarian follicle selection is a natural biological process in the pre-ovulatory hierarchy in birds that drives growing follicles to be selected within the ovulatory cycle. Follicle selection in birds is strictly regulated, involving signaling pathways mediated by dietary nutrients, gonadotrophic hormones and paracrine factors. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that dietary Ca may participate in regulating follicle selection in laying ducks through activating the signaling pathway of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), possibly mediated by gonadotrophic hormones. Female ducks at 22 weeks of age were initially fed one of two Ca-deficient diets (containing 1.8% or 0.38% Ca) or a Ca-adequate control diet (containing 3.6% Ca) for 67 days (depletion period), then all birds were fed the Ca-adequate diet for an additional 67 days (repletion period). Compared with the Ca-adequate control, ducks fed 0.38% Ca during the depletion period had significantly decreased (P < 0.05) numbers of hierarchical follicles and total ovarian weight, which were accompanied by reduced egg production. Plasma concentration of FSH was decreased by the diet containing 1.8% Ca but not by that containing 0.38%. The ovarian content of cAMP was increased with the two Ca-deficient diets, and phosphorylation of PKA and ERK1/2 was increased with 0.38% dietary Ca. Transcripts of ovarian estradiol receptor 2 and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) were reduced in the ducks fed the two Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05), while those of the ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were decreased in the ducks fed 0.38% Ca. The transcript abundance of ovary gap junction proteins, A1 and A4, was reduced with the Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05). The down-regulation of gene expression of gap junction proteins and hormone receptors, the increased cAMP content and the suppressed hierarchical follicle numbers were reversed by repletion of dietary Ca. These results indicate that dietary Ca deficiency negatively affects follicle selection of laying ducks, independent of FSH, but probably by activating cAMP/PKA/ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Introduction: There is ongoing concern about the burden placed on healthcare systems by lab tests. Although these concerns are widespread, it is difficult to quantify the extent of the problem. One approach involves use of a metric known as the Mean Abnormal Response Rate (MARR), which is the proportion of tests ordered that return an abnormal result; a higher MARR value indicates higher yield. The primary objective of this study was to calculate MARRs for tests ordered between April 2014 and March 2019 at the four adult emergency departments (EDs) covering a metropolitan population of 1.3 million. Secondary objectives included identifying tests with highest and lowest MARRs; comparison of MARRs for nurse- and physician-initiated orders; correlation of the number of tests per order requisition to MARR; and correlation of physician experience to MARR. Methods: In total, 40 laboratory tests met inclusion criteria for this study. Administrative data on these tests as ordered at the four EDs were obtained and analyzed. Multi-component test results, such as from CBC, were consolidated such that an abnormal result for any component was coded as an abnormal result for the entire test. Repeat tests ordered within a single patient visit were excluded. Physician experience was quantified for 209 ED physicians as number of years since licensure. Analyses were descriptive where appropriate for whole-population data. Risk of bias was attenuated by the focus on administrative data. Results: The population dataset comprised 33,757,004 test results on 415,665 unique patients. Of these results, 30.3% were the outcomes of nurse-initiated orders. The 5-year MARRs for the four hospitals were 38.3%, 40.0%, 40.7% and 40.9%. The highest per-test MARRs were for BNP (80.5%) and CBC (62.6%), while the lowest were for glucose (7.9%) and sodium (11.6%). MARRs were higher for nurse-initiated orders than for physician-initiated orders (44.7% vs. 38.1%), likely due to the greater order frequency of high-yield CBC in nurse-initiated orders (38.6% vs. 18.1%). The number of tests per order requisition was inversely associated with MARR (r = -0.90, p < 0.001). Finally, the number of years since licensure was modestly but significantly associated with MARR (r = 0.28, p < 0.001). Conclusion: This is the first and largest study to apply the MARR in an ED setting. As a metric, MARR effectively identifies differences in test ordering practices on per-test and per-hospital bases, which could be useful for data-informed practice optimization.
Introduction: Physician metrics extracted from an electronic medical records (EMR) system can be utilized for practice improvement. One key metric analyzed at many emergency departments (EDs) is ‘patients per hour’ (pts/hr), a proxy for physician productivity. It is often believed that early-career physicians experience rapid growth in efficiency as they acclimatize to a hospital system and develop clinical confidence. This is the first study to evaluate the following question: Do early-career ED physicians increase their productivity when beginning practice? Methods: We performed a retrospective review of EMR data of early-career ED physicians working at one or more urban, academic centers. Early-career physicians must have started practice within three months of residency completion, and were identified by privileging records and provincial medical college registration. Physicians were excluded if they did not have at least 36 months of continuous data. Monthly productivity data (pts/hr) was extracted for each physician for their first 36-months of practice. A ‘performance curve’ or graph with a trendline of productivity as a moving average was created for each physician. Each performance curve was visually evaluated by two independent reviewers to qualitatively identify the general trend as upward, downward, or stable, with disagreements resolved by conference. Each physician's first and third year average productivity was compared quantitatively as well, with a significant upward or downward trend defined as a difference of at least 0.2 pts/hr. Results: A total of 41 physicians met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Overall monthly pts/hr averages ranged from 1.08 to 7.65. Upon visual inspection, six (14.6%) physicians had upward trends, five (12.2%) had downward trends, and 30 (73.2%) had no discernable pattern. The quantitative analysis comparing first year to third year productivity matched the qualitative inspection exactly, with the same six physicians showing increased productivity, five with decreased, and 30 without significant change. Notably, the majority (30/41) of physicians demonstrated radical productivity variations over short periods with no discernable long-term trends. Conclusion: The majority of early career physicians do not demonstrate sustained early-career productivity changes. Of those that do, an approximately equal number will become faster and slower.